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Saturday, January 23, 2010



The Wonderful Land of Punt (Somalia)

Punt was a legendary land, previously known by Egyptians as the “Land of the God”, “Land of perfume” and “land of ancestors” as mentioned in the “Book of the Dead”.

“The Lands of the Gods see thee, they could write [concerning thee]; the Deserts of Punt could count thee.”

….Turning my face to sunrise I created a wonder for you,

I made the lands of Punt come here to you, with all the fragrant flowers of their lands, to beg your peace and breathe the air you give.”

Frankincense & Myrrh Incense Indigenous to Somalia, Africa

Frankincense and myrrh were the first tree resins (sap) used by the Ancient Egyptians. They were burned to clear the air in sickrooms and during religious ceremonies to drive away evil spirits. Today, the frankincense-yielding areas in Somalia are still extensive, but the trees are confined to mountain areas, which makes collection difficult; the stands on the coast have long since been destroyed. The trees introduced into Egypt have like wise vanished, and only the bas-reliefs in Thebes are left to tell the story of the wonderland of Punt.

Incense shipment 15th Century B.C.

According to the Ancient Egyptians, the second Egyptian ruling ethnic/class’s ancestral homeland was Punt (Somalia). They referred to this land as “Ta Nteru” (‘Land of the gods’). To emphasize their Puntite origins, the Egyptians portrayed the Puntites in the exact same manner in which they portrayed themselves. This new ruling ethnic/class called themselves “Mesnitu” (‘Metalworkers/blacksmiths’), and was also referred to as “Shemsu Hor” (‘Followers of Horus’).

Chief of Punt “Parakhu”; his wife queen “Aty”

These metalworkers and rulers of Punt are the lowest class in today-Somalia. Nomadic Somalis who tended after their herds came to Somalia and made allies against the indigenous people. These Nomads conquered the last king of Punt, Baidari, and divided his people among themselves. The Puntites became slaves, ostracized and were named Midgaan. Midgaans are the ones who know the skills of making and repairing shoes, making plowing tools, knives and axes, making and fixing weapons, knowing herbal and traditional healing and midwifery.

Somali’s unforgivable myth

Midgaan is a derogatory name based on a myth. It’s the most popular myth in Somalia and it’s the only proof why Midgaans are inferior to the rest of the Somali race. Till today, they socialize and marry among themselves because they are not allowed to mix with other Somalis. The Nomads created a myth to justify the alienation of the Midgaans. The myth says:

Once upon a time there were two brothers who went on a trip far away from the village. Their father told them to search for families on their way in order to get food and water. But, if you cannot find families along the way, remember to survive by all means necessary even if you eat dead animals. If you do find a dead animal, and you eat from it; remember to clean your body system afterwards by vomiting.

After the two brothers walked three days with no help on sight, they found a dead goat and helped themselves. Then they walked for another day and found a family. One of the bothers started cleaning his body system by throwing up while the other brother decided not to do it. When they came back home, the father asked them about their trip. They started telling their stories and what one of them did by not cleaning himself. The father got angry, cast out the unclean son and refused him to enter his house and become one of his clan members.

The clean brother is Somali while the unclean one is Midgaan. To this day, the self-proclaimed noble Somalis do not associated with Midgaans and there is no intermarriage between them. Although Somalis look alike and is very difficult to tell who is Midgaan and who is not, Midgaan’ background can be easily checked by using a clan screening system.

C/Rahman Eelay